Pin-It Saturday: A Writers Life for Me

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I found this nifty little blog post about things that writers do. You can read it HERE. Go on and read it, it’s a quick read and if you are a writer you may find that a lot of it is true to you.

The first few talking about staring at things and noticing that we are staring. This has gotten me into trouble a few times. One day I was at the park and I was watching a couple with their kid. Of course, I wasn’t paying attention to the people, I was off on some tangent in my head, creating a story out of what I saw. I could have looked away while I was thinking, but how many of us think about that?

Anyways, the woman pushing the kid on the swing shouts at me “What are you staring at?” and add a little hand on the hip attitude towards me. It took me a second to realize she was talking to me and reality caught up to me with a slap to the face. No, not a slap from the woman, a metaphorical slap.

Another point made in this blog post was how we will sit in Starbucks and order hot tea just for the free refill. That’s not me, but I will go in for a drink, just to sit and people watch. You learn so much about people by just watching them. I can’t tell you how many stories were inspired just from watching people and listening to their conversations.

I do find amusement in odd things. Actually, I will laugh out loud at and have to explain to someone what I was laughing at. The people I work with think I am a little on the looney side because of this.

There is another point int he post that says that writers will see some hidden beauty that others can’t see. How true is this? I can’t tell you how many hours I have stared up at the night sky, looking at the stars. Or sitting in my car, staring at the clouds on a sunny day.

Just the other day I was at work. A lady came through with a necklace of a jade horse. I smiled and told her I liked it and that it reminded me of “The Wizard of Oz.” The woman actually had to ask me why! Hello…Emerald city…horse that changes color…Does not one pay attention tho these movies? It also kind of reminded me of the town or city in Wizard of Oz book that had the china dolls. Or something like that…It’s been a while since I have read that book. The lady said she had owned the necklace for 40 years and no one had ever said that…No imagination people.

The truth is, I never see what others see. And I know I have my over active imagination and my drive to write to thank for that.

What do you do as a writer that sets you apart from others?

Toodles

Book Review: Rain of Ash (Project Fifteen #1)

Heather M.:

Read my latest book review over at The Reading Bud. And keep an eye on my blog next month, I will be interviewing the author of Rain of Ash!

Originally posted on The Reading Bud:

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Author: Rachel Elisabeth Judd
Release Date: September 18th, 2014
Series: Project Fifteen
Genre: Fantasy
Edition: Kindle (mobi)
Pages: 211
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

Three years ago, after a terrible fight with her father, Lydia Bradshaw vanished without a trace.

Her younger sister Gwen never gives up hope, though, waiting for Lydia to eventually come home.

But when Lydia finally does resurface, it’s not what Gwen expected. Lydia’s changed in her time away, in ways Gwen can barely understand. After her family home burns, Gwen gets taken in by a cadre of vampire hunters who call themselves Project Fifteen. They welcome Gwen, teaching her how to hunt and fight vampires. And Gwen embraces the opportunity to take revenge on the vampires who have hurt her family.

But not everyone is what they seem. Everyone has secrets, even Gwen. Will Gwen be able to survive…

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Netflix Movie Review: Silent House

Silent House Movie

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Okay people of the internet…and those wonderful enough to follow my blog. It’s high time I brought you a new movie review. My goal here is to review at least one movie found on Netflix, once a month. Simply because that allows me to have an excuse to sit down and watch a movie, but it’s not a ton of time out of my busy schedule. It’s a win win for everyone.

I went searching for a movie to watch and came across Silent House. I remember the previews for it and decided I wanted to watch it simply because another Olsen sister has surfaced and there is a possibility she is a better actor than her sisters. Let’s face it, the Olsen twins are not great actors…they were cute once.

Moving on. This movie waste no time getting into the thrill. Maybe ten minutes into the movie, Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen), starts hearing things upstairs.

But let’s back up for a minute. The movie is about a girl, her father, and her uncle, working on a family vacation home. They are renovating it so they can put it on the market. You will notice that all the windows are blackened out and the only light source in the house are the lanterns and flashlights that the three have.

As I was saying before, it’s not long before Sarah starts hearing things upstairs. Her uncle has left the house to blow off steam, leaving Sarah and her father alone to explore the house, to find what is making the noise. Once every room and corner has been checked, Sarah is scolded by her father for not having her room packed. She is left in her room to finish. A few minutes later something bangs the wall, causing pictures to fall.

Of course, Sarah is going to go check it out. What kind of horror movie would this be if she didn’t. She finds her father knocked out in one of the rooms. Of course, the house has no phone line and the cell phones have no service. Sarah tries to get out of the house, but for some odd reason they have locked the door from the inside, and the key that usually hangs beside the door is missing.

Blah blah blah. We all know how the story goes. Now, I am not going to lie. I had this movie figured out in the first five minutes. It was too obvious!

So, if you want to watch the movie, go right ahead, but skip to the end of the post to avoid spoilers. If not, scroll on down and read the spoiler!

SpoilerSo here is what happened. Sarah was molested by her father and evidently her uncle knew about it. Or he was in on it too.. I didn’t really understand that much. Being back in the house has caused Sarah to go a little mental. Why wouldn’t she though? She was molested by the one man a girl should always be able to trust!

The person in the house ends up being her. She is the one who knocked out her father and she is also the one who kills him, though it’s obvious when this happens. It’s just like the story line of “The Uninvited.” They could have at least tried to hide it a little better.

Spoiler End

Let’s talk about the other parts of the movie that annoyed me. I understand this was supposed to be one of those “in the moment” movies where you follow the main character, almost as if you are in the movie. But…didn’t they learn anything from “Cloverfield?” Can we please be over the movies where the camera moves all over the place? It bothers my eyes and I just can’t enjoy the movie.

So why only 2 Jason Mask rating? Because it was predictable and not at all scary. It didn’t make me jump…”Not even a little bit, Not even at all.” (Tell me what movie that quote is from and I will give you a cookie…Hint: It’s not a horror movie.)

Have you seen Silent House? What did you think?

Toodles

Prompt Challenge 2-2: BeYOUtiful

Prompt Challenge

First, I would like to say that I am sorry for being late with this today. It’s raining and I slept a little later than usual. It’s one of my days off that I had nothing planned but to relax. Can you blame me? If you follow my blog you know how busy I am most of the time.

Also, before I get into this story I would like to share a few things. This story was not only inspired by the prompt itself. It was also inspired by two other things. The first being the Dove campaign about women feeling beautiful just the way they are. You can watch the video HERE that inspired the story.

Second, the story was inspired by my own battle with PCOS. You can read more about PCOS HERE. While I do not want symapthy or attention because I have this, I do want to bring light to it. There are still so many women that have this and don’t even know, not to mention there is still much to learn about it.

What all that said, let’s get into what you all came here for! The story!

CreamPuff

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It was the same doors that she came to everyday; the same two doors that sent her home. They were simple doors, one saying “Beautiful”, the other saying “Average.” Susan didn’t want to pick either, because she didn’t feel like either. Beautiful was so far from who she was, and average didn’t make the cut either. She was plain, frumpy, fat, and ugly. At least that is how she felt about herself. Actually, it was how most people she met felt about her. These two doors were the reason she had not been to work in a week. She would probably lose her job today, but she just couldn’t bring herself to walk through those doors and there was no way around them, she had tried.

“The ugly door is closed today.” Shouted someone who walked through the door with the sign saying beautiful over it. If anyone was being ugly, it was that person. Who was she to judge someone she didn’t know? It didn’t help Susan though, and thinking poorly of the woman didn’t help either. Susan turned around and took the path home. It was the same path she had taken to get there, the same path she had taken every day for years to get to work. Now this path was littered with anxiety and self hate. Though, if she really thought about it, her whole life was littered with negative thoughts of herself.

Susan was always the overweight girl. Her friends were always skinnier and therefore, always the girls guys wanted to date. While all her friends were married now, Susan still lived a single life. She lived in a small apartment with her cat, and no one disturbed her. Of course, that was her own fault. She had pushed away all her family and friends over the years. All she had was her cat, her job, and herself. After work she would go straight home and sit behind her computer, playing games that allowed her to forget who she was. She was trapped in a body that she hated.

“It’s time to change that.” She said to herself as she made her way back home. She would clean out all of the junk food in her home. She would go to the grocery store and buy all the healthy foods they say help. She would eat oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch, and fish for dinner. She was going to do it right this time. No more playing.

Several hours later, Susan sat at her kitchen table polishing off the last of the cream puffs in the box. It was a full box when she started, but she was so depressed by time she made it home that she just couldn’t help herself. Beside her sat a bag full of junk food, her cabinets where bare. She had been filling her body with so much processed foods and sugar, no wonder she was fat. She was going to start her diet today, but the day was almost over and she decided to treat herself one last time before she took away all happiness. She would start her new diet tomorrow…always tomorrow.

The next day started as any other day. She took out the garbage, which included all of the junk food from her home. She fed the cat and headed out to the grocery store. She was determined to start the day right. She bought all the healthy foods she thought would work. Veggies, fruits, nuts, fish, and green tea. She had read all the articles, she knew all the tricks. She was also starving and needed to get home to eat some oatmeal before she made a terrible decision.

The oatmeal wasn’t great, though it wasn’t bad either. She read article upon article about what to do with oatmeal to make it taste better and still be healthy. She read about what to put in her salad to make it tastier and speed up her metabolism. And for dinner she tried a new recipe for fish, which was better than she thought.

She went to bed hungry, but that was okay, she could feel the pounds dropping off already. In the morning she was going to get up and do one of those work out videos she had stashed away in her closet, she might as well use them after all the money she had paid for them.

Susan stayed on track with her diet and exercise for a month. She had found a new job away from the wretched doors and she was feeling better than ever. It was time to weigh in and she knew that she was going to like the numbers. At least she thought she would like them.

The scale told her she had lost 2 pounds. In all the time that she had been working so hard, giving up sugar, sodas, and chocolate, she had only lost 2 pounds. How was that even possible? She had worked so hard. The first thing Susan did was reach for a candy bar, but put it away quickly. She would not sabotage her journey, but she would see a doctor.

“PCOS.” The doctor told her. “It may be the reason you haven’t lost weight. It can cause other problems too.” Susan had a syndrome. Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. Her body didn’t work like it should, producing more testosterone than it should, and not enough estrogen. “It can be controlled. You may not be able to have kids. And while you can lose weight, you will have to work harder than everyone else.”

Susan felt the world crashing down on her. Something was trying to keep her from being the woman she wanted to be. Someone was standing in front of her dream. She would never be able to walk through that door marked for beautiful people. She would never been seen by anyone as beautiful. She wasn’t even average. Susan wanted to crash and burn; felt like she already had. She wanted to disappear from the world

Medication helped Susan feel better and while she didn’t like the idea, she did work harder than everyone. She lost, on average, about 2 pounds a month. It wasn’t ideal, but she knew if she kept losing weight, no matter how slow, she was going in the right direction. She was feeling better, eating healthier, and even found that she liked to run. She decided that her diagnosis would not stop her from being who she wanted to be. She would work harder than everyone. She would put in the work and she would lose the weight slowly, she would become healthy and happy.

Within a few months, Susan realized she didn’t care about the weight loss anymore. She was happy with how she felt. She felt stronger and could run longer. Sure, she was losing a little weight, but that just didn’t matter anymore. What mattered is that she was feeling better about herself.

One day, on a jog through the city, Susan decided to go a little further. She wanted to beat her time and stretch her run just a little. She was training for a marathon and she wanted to push herself. It wasn’t until she was there that she realized what she had done. The door’s stood tall and proud in front of her. The words were as bright as ever. Two doors, one saying “Beautiful” and the other “Average.”

Susan realized that the path she had been running along, ran right through the average door and she kept on her path, not slowing or thinking about it, but right before she went under that sign she stopped. She wasn’t average. Nor was she less. No matter what anyone thought of her, she was beautiful. She didn’t need anyone telling her that because she felt it deep in her bones. She was beautiful and she would walk through those doors that said so. She would hold her head high and she would claim her rightful title.

Susan’s hand landed on the door handle to the “Beautiful” door, pulled it open and walked through. While no great crowd of clapping hands waited for her, she was clapping for herself. She had finally figured it out. What made her beautiful was thinking she was beautiful.

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I hope you enjoyed the story. Sorry it’s fast paced, I am trying to keep the short stories short enough to be read in one sitting and not take up your whole day.

As always, if you would like to read more short stories you can go HERE. I will be updating it soon.

Thanks for reading and any feedback is welcome. Even if it’s to correct my grammar or spelling.

Toodles

Blue Pill, Red Pill, You Decide

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Most people know the red pill, blue pill, thing is from Matrix. A movie that I loved and hated because it ended so bad. These meme’s are all over the place, most being the same from the movie, but then you have the rare one that asks a new question.

Blue pill, you get to bring characters from your favorite fictional world to your world. Red pill, you get to go into your favorite fictional world. What would you choose?

Of course there are pros and cons of each. My favorite fictional world is from the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. There are witches, vampires, werewolves, pixies, fairies, and elves. I am sure there are more mystical creatures that I have forgotten about or only the author knows about.

If I were to bring my favorite characters out, one of them would live instead of dying twice. But, they would never adapt to this reality. Sure, everything is the same basically, but would their magic carry over? Probably not and truthfully, this reality wouldn’t survive with a demon on the loose.

If it were up to me I would go into the world of the Hollows series. Simply because it is the world I have always dreamed of. I would probably end up getting attacked by fairies or vampires, but I would hope that a certain Witch, Vampire, and Pixie group would come save me. Then I would be in! I would meet all their friends, fall in love with one of the cute witches or werewolves or…anything that’s not human.

The only problem would be leaving my family behind. I know my mom would probably go with me, but my dad and brother would take a little convincing. Maybe. Who knows.

Now I have my mind in a complete and total melt down, wishing so much that I could slip into that world even for a moment. Maybe I wouldn’t feel so lost, as I do now. Maybe I would finally find a place I belong, because I have yet to find that in this world. So, if anyone knows of any secret portals to a new world, please let me know. I think I need to try my hand at another world because I don’t fit so well in this one.

What about you? Would you bring characters out or go into their story? And no mixing and matching. It has to be one fictional world. Have fun with it!

Toodles

My Craft Corner: Minnie Mouse Party

Craft Corner

Finally! I have a name for Mondays. For the past month I have been sharing my creations of the past week. I couldn’t think of anything to call it and I kind of didn’t want to add it to the schedule and make it a permanent thing. I don’t always get the chance to make something that I want to share, but everyday I am off work I try and make something.

This week was fantastic in creations though! I had to make cake pops and a smash cake for my cousins daughters first birthday. It all came out so wonderful too!

Minnie cake

The cake came out so great!! Like, I shocked myself with this one. The cake is white cake and the icing is my own homemade butter-cream icing. The one thing I learned from this is that I will never make a box white cake again. I need to find my own recipe because this cake wasn’t the best tasting.

The bow was made from sugar cookies and covered in candy melts. I was going to cover it in royal icing, but I couldn’t get my royal icing to work right. It wouldn’t thin out to where I could use it for flooding. I was so aggravated.

The cake shape was made using a 6inch cake pan for the face. The ears were made out of a square cake that I cut out with a giant cookie cutter. Like…who makes cookies that big?

The bow was made using two heart shapes and a circle. While the candy melts were drying I etched in the bow folds with a toothpick. And I iced the rest of the cake using a star tip. I am seriously in love with how well this turned out.

Minnie Cake pops

The cake pops were another great feat! I bought a box of stuff from a friend who is getting out of the cake making business. In all the stuff she gave me there was a chocolate mold of bows. Instead of using heart sprinkles I used the mold and it made the cake pops 100 times cuter. Again, IN LOVE! The pink was supposed to have white dots like Minnie’s dress, but I thought it looked terribly cute and simple like they are. So I kept it that way.

The only thing special I did to these was use mini oreos for the ears. I found that tip online while looking for Minnie Mouse cake pops. I heard they were delicious too.

DSCN1692After I finished the Minnie mouse cake pops I had some cake and candy melts left over, so I made these adorable things. Which, I will be giving away on my Facebook page for The Catch All Shop. Just click HERE to check it out.

And as promised, I said I would share with you how I decorate my agenda for the week. I once shared what my monthly calendar looks like, so here is what my weekly looks like.

DSCN1694I made the agenda myself. It’s in a composition notebook. So it’s really boring looking to start with. Which doesn’t help when I open it…I just don’t have the desire to keep up with it. So once a week I sit down and decorate it to death. Some weeks I go a little overboard. This week, I don’t think I added enough color…

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The water drop things are for me to keep up with how much water I drink every day. Most days I fill in all the water drops, which is my goal of 3 liters. The little colorful dots on the side is where I write my work schedule. Every night I sit down at my desk and fill in the day. I write how I felt that day or anything I may find important to remember. If something important happens that week that I know will happen I usually use a piece of colorful tape on the day it happens and write on top of that. That way it pops out a little more.

The rest, the stickers…they are all completely random. I just try and make it as colorful as possible.

That is all I have for you this week. What did you create this past week?

Toodles

Fitness Sunday: Week 6

Fitness Sunday

Hello people of the internet. I am here with another fitness Sunday. Another fitness blog full of excuses and blame that falls on everything else but me. Because it’s not my fault.

Just kidding.

As you may recall I had a few goals last week.

Last week

  1. Lose 2 pounds.
  2. No chocolate…There is a saying that goes: “There is no try, just do.” Didn’t Yoda say that?
  3. DDP Yoga at least twice.
  4. Eat more fruits and vegetables
  5. Stop buying junk food at work.
  6. Eat less meat. Fill up on vegetables.

Obviously, I didn’t make it to those goals. I ate a ton of chocolate. And I kept buying junk food at work. The good news though, I did eat more veggies and fruits. And as soon as I get my next check I will be getting stuff to make salads for work and possibly when I am at home.

See, I got this nifty little salad to-go cup at Wal-Mart last week and I makes a nice little sandwich.

Salad cup

It’s easy to tote around and a nice sized salad fits in it. I used it once this week and put buffalo style chicken breast and extra sharp cheddar cheese in it. It was delicious. I added bacon bits and some ritz crackers as well, but next time I think I could do with out that. I also have some carrots that I need to cut up for snacking.

In all honesty, I may be slack at getting this whole weight thing under control, but I am making the effort. I always feel bad for the cookie or candy bar. lol I’m trying to ignore my cravings, but it’s hard to do.

For the past two days I have not drink the 3 liters of water I have been drinking for several weeks now. I can feel it too. I have been super tired the past few days and I am sure the lack of water is the cause.

Let’s move on to this week. What are my goals for this week?

They are pretty much going to be the same as last weeks…

This weeks goals

  1. Chill out on the sweets.
  2. Take a salad to work everyday.
  3. Work out at least once. Okay, so I realize this is bad that I don’t work out. But I unload truck every Monday and most days at work I am stocking. It’s basically a work out…
  4. More veggies.
  5. Make sure to drink 3 liters of water a day.

What are your goals for this week?

Toodles

Pin-It Saturday: Let’s Organize

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I have been in the process of re-writing a few novels. Two of which are in the same series. My hope and dream is to have everything ready for January so that I can work on finding a good editor that will help my book become great. Then to move on from there and finally get my name out in the world.

But first, I have to re-write. The first book was written in a way that the reader sees all and knows all. I want to change that to where the reader can only see and know what the main character knows. Which means there will be an entire re-write. But most authors know that the first draft is just the outline anyways…right?

I have been scouring the internet and Pinterest to find ideas on how to organize my thoughts and story lines. How to do I figure out what scenes are important and what scenes need to be cut out now that the POV has changed? At times I wish I could just start from scratch, but I know there are things in the 70,000+ words in each book that I want to keep.

I found a few things that I am trying to adapt and use for this. I found a few things on Pinterest that I want to give a try. The first being the idea I found HERE. It’s using note cards to write down scenes and the important aspects of those scenes. Although the problem with this is the same problem I had in high school and college when taking notes. I just don’t know how to take notes…I feel like every single detail is important. I am hoping that with my own novel I will know the different between what is important and what feels sacred to just me.

The second thing that I found was HERE. It is the Post-It method. Of course, I am not following the method as stated in the article. I’m actually not sure how I am using it to be honest. I am using it for problems and things that I want to change or things that I need to remember for later in the novel or even later in the series. The series I am working on, I know what is going to happen, I just don’t know how I am getting there.

So tell me, how do you keep up with your novel? Do you have some kind of elaborate organization system? I have heard of the series bible that some authors use, and I will possibly try to adapt that at some point in my writing career. What are your tips and tricks that have helped you along the way?

Toodles

Interview with Jonas Lee

JonasLeeInterview

Good morning readers, writers, and random people that have come across my blog. I bring something special to you today! As you may have seen from my book reviews I have been reading a series by Jonas Lee. A fairly new indie author who, in my opinion, is a fantastic author.

Lucky for me, he hasn’t hit it big yet (YET! I know it’s coming) and he was kind enough to grant me a little interview. A small interview that ended up being more questions than I originally planned. What can I say, I am a nosy reader and love knowing everything I possibly can about the authors that I love. Also, as a writer, I love the insight from other authors that are were I would like to be one day.

If you would like to check out my reviews of Jonas Lee’s novels, you can check out “A Time to Reap” and “A Time to Live.”

Without further delay, here is the interview!

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What Inspired the Carter Gabel story?

Carter Gabel’s story was originally inspired after reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. I just thought of what their child might be like. I wrote one chapter, sat it down for the better part of five years and didn’t touch it again until I started blogging. I planned to expand on that story as a token to readers and by the fifth chapter, I was already addicted to his story.

How many books will the Carter Gabel story be? Is it a trilogy or a series?

The Legend of Carter Gabel will have three books, two are already available and the third one is in development. I can say that I have dabbled into the idea of doing small novelettes from other characters perspectives. If anything I think they might get squished into their own book later or as a bonus in the boxed set.

How long did it take you to write “A Time to Reap”?

A Time to Reap really only took me a few weeks to write, but that is also spaced over a couple of months’ worth of free time, so three months?

After you finished writing the novel, how long did it take to polish and publish it?

After finishing the story, editing, re-editing, family/friends editing and finally professional editing took another couple of months. I started the series in April, finished writing by the first week in June and all the editing was done by first of August.

A lot of authors say that some of their characters take on characteristics of their selves. What character in the Carter Gabel series is more like you?

As an author, I try to pour out little portions of myself wherever I can. I guess the most I do, portion-wise, is through Carter. His sarcasm is mostly mine, acting before thinking is a trait of mine as well. Past those points, the rest of him is his own. His nuances develop with whichever scene comes at him.

Do you want to venture into other genres other than YA?

I love most genres as a writer. YA is a great genre to be in, but I see myself branching out into areas like supernatural, fantasy, steampunk, paranormal and maybe a dabble of horror. There are six other stories just waiting in the wings with these areas in mind. All of my stories have a combination of other genres, but as to which flavor will overpower the rest, stay tuned.

What Obstacles have you faced in your own writing journey?

I initially started out trying to find a literary agent, those people are finicky, lol. After that I went Indie and those are a different breed of obstacles because it is mainly whatever a writer puts in their own way (time, money, effort, etc.).  Finding an audience that wants to latch on and follow me has been my thorn.

What do you dislike the most about being an indie author? Or, what is the hardest part of it?

Dislike most? The only thing I can say to that is not having a helping hand with marketing. All of my fans are organic at this point. Finding more people to follow me and stick with me, refer me to friends and help me promote is every Indie’s woe. Beyond that, I love it!

Where is your favorite place to write?

I don’t think I’ve acquired a “spot” yet. As long as I have some music and some solitude, I am a writing machine.

What was it like when your novel was edited for the first time by someone other than yourself? Was it painful to see suggestions to change certain aspects of your novel?

Oh, lord. That first sacrifice is the hardest. Going into writing, I thought I had a pretty firm grasp on getting ideas out onto the page. I knew that my grammar skills could use some work, but after that first professional edit, whoa. I felt like a person with no thumbs trying to pick up my dignity. In all, I was harsher toward myself than needed. It’s all learning about how to find your voice and make that voice reach everyone. Editing refines those rough edges, but watching all the red marks bleed across my first born was hard.

Do you plan on becoming a traditionally published author, or do you want to stay as an indie author?

Ideally, I’d love to remain Indie. My aspirations want me to see my books become movies one day though. So, to do that I need fans and fans of fans. Traditional publishing is bound to help me out with that so in the long term, I’d love to see my books in major stores with that kind of help.

What inspired you to start writing? At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Writing became a continuation of an active childhood imagination. I was horrid at reading, I could tackle maybe ten pages a day. If the book didn’t bore me, my mind would start reenacting the scenes and developing new ones. Pretty soon, I was constructing plots and dialog with my GI Joes and when I outgrew those, I began writing my thoughts down.

I think I knew I wanted to write in grade school, fantasized about writing in high school and throughout college. It wasn’t until I reached my thirties that I knew if I didn’t try I would always wonder. Not sure which point to pick, but there you have it.

What author inspires you the most in your own writing?

Strangely, I don’t think I have an inspiration in an author. Not that I don’t love what they do or write or how their words come alive. It’s just that I don’t ever get done reading and go, “I need to be more like that.” I have my own thoughts that may develop out of a scene, a phrase, a song or any one of a dozen mediums. So, I’d have to simultaneously say all of the authors I read and none of them, all the same.

If you could collaborate with any other writer, who would it be? What kind of story do you think would come of it?

As much as I would love to write with the likes of King or Rowling, I don’t think my writing would benefit in a story. I’d have to say that I would pick Joe Hill. I think we could write an epic tale stemming from light and dark characters together, weaving in some humor and some tears along the way. Like what he had started with the Locke & Key series he made, I would branch that out into a world more fantasy-based.

How has your family been when it comes to writing? Were they supportive? Did anyone doubt you could be an author? Did you have anyone that tried to bring you down?

My family has been great! Initially, there was some hesitation, mainly because it was moving very fast with little planning in place. So, naturally, spending a lot of money on something that seems like a hobby rather than a passion makes you catch your breath. After the first book, everyone in my family has been very supportive. My parents are constantly buying books to give to friends and anyone they think would like it. My wife brags me up as much as she can and my daughter likes pointing out that her dad wrote a book that’s in their school library.

I don’t think anyone doubted I could write, just didn’t know I could to begin with if anything. No one has brought me down except myself, lol, I can be rather judgmental on my own branding of success.

Was “A Time to Reap” the first novel  you wrote, or do you have a few tucked away in a dark place?

A Time to Reap was my first published. I have another series that already has one complete book and two more started. There is a stand-alone novel that has a basic outline and my next series already is begging to be set loose, but I refuse until the last in the Carter Gabel series is pushed out of my noggin. Needless to say, I could write full-time if it only paid better than minimum wage in Romania.

What do you hope others take away from your stories?

In my stories, I truly hope they see what I am just realizing. It’s a 1st person POV, and it starts out as a teenager and with each book, he matures, the same way I hope my writing does. It’s meant to be fun and funny and breath-catching. Its crutch is time travel, powers and individuality, but beneath it, I tried to convey a realistic story. Who’re the good guys, who are the bad guys, why can’t anyone get it right, who do we trust? Coming out of the memory and perspective of a teenager going through the situations Carter is faced with, how would you react? I want people to have fun and be able to get through it and look back on when it started thinking, “I’ve got to re-read this again someday.”

Do you have any other hobbies other than writing?

I love movies; I could do movie marathons nearly every day! I dabble in gaming when I can. I love getting out and connecting with the outdoors through hiking, walking, and coaching my daughter’s softball. A rather new hobby of mine is restoring old furniture my wife and I find. I just have to be more diligent at completing it. She would appreciate that too.

Where do you hope your career will be in 10 years?

I Hope I’ve found my way onto a best seller’s list somewhere and that one of my stories is being considered for something in the entertainment world.

Do you have a dream office?

Dream office… A large oak slab with a leather captain’s chair with a large computer monitor and a coffee machine behind me. Speakers wired into the ceiling and a view looking at the pine trees resting in the Black Hills behind me sounds about right.

Is writing now your full time job?

Ha, no! I work full time doing the thing that pays the bills. I enjoy it to an extent, but if you give me the opportunity, I’d be writing all the time. You would need to dedicate a shelf to my books in no time.

Who is your favorite author to read?

A favorite,… that’s pretty hard. I love when Stephen King has a good book. I can’t say all of his are my favorite. I’ve really taken to Charlie N. Holmberg and her Paper Magician series. Nina Soden creates a great set of characters. I think if an author can have me want to come back and not stop reading, they fall into a favorite category.

They say that writers read (or should read) as much as they write. Do you find this true in your personal life?

I think reading, as an author, helps me out because I can get stuck using the same phrasing or words and seeing what other author are capable of doing shows me ways to expand outside of my own pattern. Plus, reading just unlocks imagination and who couldn’t use a little more of that? Also, knowing what kinds of work are out there, popular or being tried helps from a professional standpoint.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Any tips or tricks that you may have learned along the way?

Write what you would like to read. And when you’re not writing, look at what is out there in your genre. Get a feel for what book clubs, blogging sites and YouTube vlogs are doing. The bloggers push out a lot more notice than Twitter and Facebook do. Great writing will go unnoticed if you just leave it for others to pick up when they want. And don’t be afraid to fail. You are going to fail at least a couple of readers out there. Keep in mind some people in life don’t like chocolate, and attribute them to that category of person, then move on.

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Thank you so much Jonas for allowing me to pick your brain!

There are many places you can find Jonas, but the easiest link to give you is to his personal blog where you can find other links to all his social media sites. I really think this is an author we need to watch, once everyone catches wind of him, he is going to be right up there with the greats.

Toodles

Book Review: A Time to Live by Jonas Lee

A Time to Live

Rating: 5 owls, cause stars are boring5owlrating

This is the second book in Jonas Lee’s series “The Legend of Carter Gabel.”

Synopsis taken from Amazon.

Carter Gabel had to overcome a lot in the last year, and time travel as a side effect of his “genetic disease” was only the beginning. He’s lost his mother, reunited with his estranged father, crippled a city and destroyed his school. If he thought he could fade into the sunset, Carter has another thing coming. A terrorist group known as Pirates has infiltrated his hometown to overthrow the Program designed to monitor those with potentially harmful abilities. Carter is a teenager, but he’s forced back into the mix as his grandson, David, has been put into a coma. He will have to try and stay out of sight as much as possible and work with new Eventuals along the way in order to stop the Pirates from turning Lincoln Square into a ghost town.

It took me a little longer to read the second book, but not because it was boring. It was far from it. The first book I flew through, because I knew I had another book in the series. And that is not the case with the recent novel. Nope, I now have to wait for the next book and I can already tell you, it’s going to kill me.

The second book picks up where the last one left off. Carter and his girlfriend, Mo, are in hiding, staying under the radar, letting people believe they are dead. Let me just say, I adore the relationship between Carter and Mo. It makes my little nerd heart squee in excitement because their love for one another is so rare, perfect, and pure. It’s not beyond believable and were basically created to be soul mates. Read the books and you will understand.

Of course, like any good book, the calmness that comes with the world thinking you are dead, doesn’t last long. Soon, Carter has been tracked down by a brother and sister, to tell him that his grandson is in trouble. Yes, Carters grandson. Again, you have to read these books! There is a crazy thing going on within these pages and there isn’t much more I can tell you without giving it all away.

Looking At a Few Things

The writing is on point. You can tell that the novel has been well edited and polished to near perfection. I only say near perfection because nothing is ever perfect, though I couldn’t tell you anything that was wrong with the story.

The dialogue, which some authors have issues with, stayed on track. The story features mostly teenagers and the dialogue stayed within what you would think a teenager would sound like.

I have this issue with endings. They have to be perfect. I have read to many books where the ending takes place in the middle of the story. This one wasn’t like that. The story is left with questions and things left open, but it ends in a way that you are comfortable with, but it keeps you on edge waiting for the next book.

The cover is amazing! If I had seen this book on the shelf at my local book store I would have picked it up in a heart beat. I am one of the people that will judge a book by it’s cover and I have no shame in that!

Once more can I say how much I love the relationship between Carter and Mo? I just love them so much and I may get a little sick to my stomach every time something comes up that could jeopardize their happily ever after.

Overall

This book was just as amazing as the first one. It’s fast paced so you don’t get bored. Not once did I stop and think “Get on with the story already.” I would read this book again and probably will when the third installment comes out.

A quick warning though, towards the end you will cry. I swear to you! I don’t cry often when it comes to reading, but I got teary eyed so I thank the author for sharing emotions so strong that I feel it my cold heart.

If you haven’t read the first book, you need to read it. If you have read it and haven’t read this one, you need to buy it. Seriously, what are you waiting on?

I will even link you to where you can buy it!

Amazon:
A Time to Reap
A Time to Live

Barnes & Noble:
A Time to Reap
A Time To Live

Also, you can find Mr. Jonas Lee right HERE. I suggest you follow him in any way that is easiest to you because you don’t want to miss out when he releases his next book…honestly, I hope that’s soon.

Toodles

P.S. Tune in Tomorrow for an interview with Jonas Lee.